It may sound like a cliché coming from a white male, but equality in the workplace is a topic that I deeply care about. I’m a product of a single mother and was raised by an African-American stepfather, I firsthand witnessed workplace discrimination when it came to the people I care most about. After my stepfather passed away, I pledged to myself personally to creating an equitable workplace no matter how small or big my company.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Weiss. Steve is the Founder and CEO of MuteSix, founded in 2014. He is responsible for the overall vision, strategic leadership, service delivery, culture, and growth of the creative agency leading to a billion in trackable revenue for clients. Under Steve’s direction, MuteSix has earned the distinction as most awarded Facebook social advertising agency with more Facebook & Instagram marketing case studies than any other agency. MuteSix has grown into a comprehensive and integrated global marketing agency with prominent clients across all major industry B2B/B2C sectors, including leading brands in retail, e-commerce, luxury, nonprofit, technology, sports, publishing, and financial services. Steve is a frequent speaker at industry events and is regularly quoted in business and tech publications.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I had been running various internet marketing companies since I was 16. That’s when my mother gifted me my first computer for me. From that point on, she facilitated my way into the tech direction. And, I got hooked.
My first success was an internet lead generation company for the mortgage industry. I got to experience some pretty high highs of success and some embarrassingly low lows and that internalized alone. I’ll say this — with age comes benefits. When I was young, I would come to people, ‘I’ve got this great idea,’ and they just never took me seriously. From this I learned that you can get great human capital from experience, as well as social connections, both of which helped boost the odds of success for as an entrepreneur.
Can you explain to our readers why you are an authority about Social Media Marketing?
I have been running ads on social media since 2007 long before the phrase #adtech was understood. Actually, the very first Facebook ad I ran was for folks to pop by my standup comedy shows while in college. It’s now been 11 years and through today, I have managed well over $100 million+ in paid Facebook spend and have built an agency from scratch. Today I’m proud to say that our firm been made the Inc 500 list for two years in a row and that we grew from a team of two to 100+ employees who live and love all things advertising.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
I grew up in a small suburban lower middle-class town in New Jersey and I don’t know many people from my side of the world that are in tech or let alone are entrepreneurs. I was at conference and I ran into my neighbor who grew up in the apartment right across from me. It turns out, he has a super successful company in the tech space and shared loads of similar experiences that I went through I this space. Upon reconnecting, I realized that even without connections, it was values like curiosity, commitment and confidence that are traits shared by successful entrepreneurs no matter what your pedigree or start.
I’ve come to appreciate that in order to become a successful entrepreneur you have to cultivate a certain entrepreneurial mindset. Many entrepreneurially-minded people have launched successful careers with different backgrounds, skills and values. And, have made it work.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Once, my co-founder (Daniel Rutberg) and I were sharing an office with a client who offered to give us free desks for our use. The problem? He didn’t actually tell the owner of the building that we were getting those free desks. So, one day, in the middle of a prestigious client meeting (to secure a six-figure contract) as were working over one of the freebie desks, the owner comes up to me and asks, “Why are you here? And, who are these people?” I told him that we were given free desks! But he knew nothing about the agreement, so it got awkward pretty quick when you realize when you think you have an office…but you actually don’t. FYI — We ended leaving and working out of a Starbucks.
Which social media platform have you found to be most effective to use to increase business revenues? Can you share a story from your experience?
Facebook even for business has still been the greatest place to stay relevant in people’s minds.
To this day everyone still has a Facebook account. And, you’d be surprised how many leads I gotten from my own personal network of friends without soliciting a single business post. Sure, I can post about my personal purchases, preferences, travels, reading materials, jobs, families, interests and much more. As such, I’ve seen firsthand how social media drives a unique yet incredible overlap between today’s business and personal spaces. Ultimately, Facebook is the most effective — and most cost-effective — channel to reach potential customers whether they’re friends or not.
Let’s talk about Instagram specifically, now. Can you share 6 ways to leverage Instagram to dramatically improve your business? Please share a story or example for each.
Instagram is a beast. To dramatically improve your business, I say:
- Makes your posts shoppable
- Have engaging CTAs that are solid
- Reward followers with exclusives and insider promotions
- Optimize your brand bio for lead gen
- Show off the people who love your brand
- Tell a captivating (visual) story
Because of the position that you are in, you are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
The movement would definingly be around equality in the work place. It may sound like a cliché coming from a white male, but equality in the workplace is a topic that I deeply care about. I’m a product of a single mother and was raised by an African-American stepfather, I firsthand witnessed workplace discrimination when it came to the people I care most about. After my stepfather passed away, I pledged to myself personally to creating an equitable workplace no matter how small or big my company.
I want to further the movement for eliminating bias and inequality in any workplace whether it be through training for bias or using AI to educate. At MuteSix, we’re testing interview loops where we include more diverse employees (women, ethnicities, non-technical backgrounds, etc.) when recruiting new talent.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂
Richard Branson: I was always a big believer in combining business with a mission and purpose while having a blast with the people you care most. He’s the type of leader who exudes those traits and puts things in such a very positive way of being brave when it comes to how he thinks about business. He read that he once said, “Screw it, let’s do it.” When I took the plunge with my agency, I thought the same.
For further questions, please contact PR @MuteSix:
Nav Mundi: [email protected]
Sura Hurt: [email protected]